» Posts Tagged ‘tutorial’

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ALEXA-Studio_headerWithin the span of the past three years, the ARRI ALEXA has become the gold-standard for cameras in productions of all shapes and sizes, from the highest-end Hollywood extravaganzas to television shows and commercials and beyond. Essentially, if you’re looking to work as a camera operator or assistant, or even as a DIT, it will behoove you greatly to know your way around the ALEXA. With that goal in mind, I’ve pulled together some of the finest resources from around the web to get you started with this excellent camera system. Luckily, it’s a very intuitive camera, so you’ll be up and running in no time flat! More »

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Eric Kress Lighting WorkshopA few weeks ago, we shared the first installment of an absolutely fantastic lighting workshop led by Danish cinematographer Eric Kress (Girl With the Dragon Tattoo). In it, he took us through the beginning stages of lighting for matching closeups using just a few bounces and a well-placed fill to create some stunningly soft, yet dramatic lighting with a minimum of tools. Even though part 1 of the workshop stopped there, Kress had quite a bit more information to impart on the audience. Luckily, Benjamin B over at thefilmbook has now posted part 2 of the Gokinema-sponsored workshop, and I can’t wait to share it with you guys, because it’s even more of a masterclass in subtle lighting techniques than the first installment. More »

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boom poleFew jobs on set are as under-appreciated as the person (or people) operating the boom mic. Not only can it be physically strenuous over the course of a 14+ hour day, but operating a boom also takes a whole lot of technique and skill in order for production sound to be its very best. Luckily, the fine folks over at Videomaker have put together a video that demystifies the subtle art of operating a boom like a pro. Check it out. More »

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Lighting For CloseupsThere are few educational resources for cinematographers that are as rock-solid as the various publications, blogs, and podcasts from the American Society of Cinematographers. Last time we checked in with the ASC, we heard a podcast interview with Phedon Papamichael about his work shooting Alexander Payne’s delightful black and white road film, Nebraska. This time, accomplished Danish cinematographer Eric Kress DFF, (who shot the fantastic Swedish version of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo) walks us through his approach to shooting matched closeups in this excellent workshop from Gokinema & thefilmbook. More »

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Screen Shot 2014-02-14 at 12.44.28 PMDigital post-production has come a long way since the Avid machines of the early 90′s. Among the myriad post production tools that have surfaced in the past few years, none is more of a potential life-saver than Adobe’s Warp Stabilizer. However, despite the fact that it is fairly easy to get decent results with the plugin, it takes a little bit of know-how and practice to make Warp Stabilizer do its best work. Luckily, Jeremy Bircher over at the soon-to-launch story-driven stock footage hub, Story & Heart, has offered up the most comprehensive breakdown of Warp Stabilizer yet. Check it out. More »

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DIY Pistol GripOf course we’d all love to get our hands on a gimbal stabilizer to steady our shaky images, but most of us don’t have thousands of dollars to spend on things that aren’t — rent or food. If you’re in desperate need for a stabilizing solution, but finding yourself with either a near-empty bank account or zero easy access to a local professional photography retailer, you’re going to have to l get a little creative. Luckily, Chad Bredahl of Krotoflik shares a tutorial that shows you how to build your own DIY pistol grip out of jump rope handles, something that is not only accessible, but won’t cost you more than a few bucks. More »

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Stillmotion Photograph StorytellingChances are that if you’ve ever tried to incorporate still photography into your filmmaking, you’ve most likely used what has become known as the “Ken Burns Effect” wherein you keyframe various properties of the photograph in order to make it appear as if the camera is panning and zooming with the photo. While this is certainly a helpful tool when using photographs in your film, it’s not particularly exciting in a visual sense, and it’s been done so much that the technique itself is somewhat trite. Because of this, using large amounts of photos in a film presents a bit of a creative challenge, a challenge that our friends at Stillmotion encountered and tackled head-on for their recent feature documentary, #standwithme. How’d they do it? Stick with us to find out. More »

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Real Gun TutorialAt one point or another, one of your films is going to call for the use of at least one gun, and unless you’ve already got your own arsenal of real firearms, getting your hands on some is going to be a touchy and expensive undertaking. If you’re more keen on the cheaper alternative, stockpiling plastic toy and airsoft guns, it’s important to make sure that they look realistic on-screen. In this helpful tutorial, filmmaker Tom Antos shows you how to ensure that your shoot ‘em up film doesn’t lose its verisimilitude by applying a weathering technique that is not only used by professional prop makers, but is also less expensive than a couple of cups of coffee. More »

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Media Composer 7 TutorialWe all know that the editing software you choose has little to do with how good of an editor you are. However, if you’re looking to edit as a profession, especially on a freelance basis, then an in-depth knowledge of multiple NLE’s can help you maintain gainful employment. Not surprisingly, the NLE that is still the standard in most corners of the industry, especially now that FCP7 is finally being phased out, is Avid’s Media Composer. Learning the program can be a bit challenging at first, but the benefits are tremendous. Luckily, Avid has teamed up with Toronto-based editor and educator, Kevin P. McAuliffe to create a series of videos that will get you up to speed in no time. Check it out. More »

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Video thumbnail for youtube video How to Remove an Unwanted Logo in After Effects - No Film SchoolYou’ve probably seen it or had to do it yourself before: blur out a logo that is being used without permission. If you’ve got a little time, you can head into After Effects and get a much nicer result than simply blurring it out — which is especially important if the video is supposed to have a polished look. The tutorial below will lead you through the process of tracking a logo, making it disappear, and then even putting in a brand new logo in its place. More »

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Seedgrade CCColor grading is one of those practices where an in-depth knowledge of your software is absolutely essential to get the job done right. While DaVinci Resolve is quickly becoming the gold standard for grading applications, Adobe users have an extremely powerful alternative in Speedgrade CC, which now has the ability to roundtrip with Premiere much in the same way that other Adobe programs do. One of our readers, Dave Andrade, sent me an excellent tutorial that walks us through the entire process of grading inside of Speedgrade, from small exposure adjustments to output and everything in between. More »

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Screen Shot 2014-01-21 at 1.21.44 PMThe dolly zoom, also referred to as the Vertigo effect or a Zolly shot, is a technique wherein the camera is dollied either forward or backward while the zoom on the lens is pulled in the opposite direction. When timed correctly, the effect of this technique is one in which the characters in the frame remain the same size while the foreground and background become compressed or de-compressed, depending on which direction the camera is traveling. It’s a technique that has been part of the cinematic language for almost 60 years, and as such, it has evolved over time. Our friend Vashi Nedomansky over at Vashi Visuals has put together a comprehensive look at the evolution of the dolly zoom, and it’s a fantastic watch, to say the least. More »

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Lighting on location is almost always a challenge for one reason or another. Sometimes it’s difficult or impossible to rig lights in the places you really need them. Other times, power management and distribution prove to be problematic. More often than not, however, the most irritating part of lighting on location is that there just isn’t enough space to light with traditional studio methods, which forces you to improvise. I ran into such a situation recently when shooting a screen test for an up-and-coming Denver actress named Emma Moody. With 15 square feet of space, two high-powered LED’s, a little bit of natural light, and a MacGuyver-esque mindset, we managed to get it done. Here’s how. More »

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TP Link TL MR3040If you’re unwilling to shell out a fistful of hundred-dollar bills for a wireless monitor, you might want to get your hands on a TP-Link TL-MR3040 wireless router. By installing alternate firmware on this little guy, you can turn it into a Wi-Fi dongle that you can then connect to your Canon or Nikon camera to turn your Android phone or tablet into a wireless monitor/controller for only $30. Check out the following tutorials to get step-by-step instructions on how to turn your Android device into a wireless monitor/controller. More »

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Premiere Black and WhiteBlack and white seems to be going through a resurgence of sorts. In the past year, a plethora of well-received black and white features have hit theaters, from Frances Ha to Nebraska, the cinematography of which we’ve talked about extensively. While there are multitudes of methods for capturing black and white images in camera, more often than not, modern films are shot in color and then converted to black and white in post processing. Unfortunately, many younger filmmakers think that the only way to accomplish this is through complete desaturation and maybe a boost in contrast. However, the infinite possibilities of our modern color tools open up a world of possibilities when it comes to black and white. Stick with us, and learn how to take creative control of your black and white inside of Premiere Pro. More »

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parallaxBack in November, we shared a great video tutorial by Joe Fellows that walked us through how to animate photos in After Effects by using the parallax 2.5D effect. Though the video received a warm response, there were a few questions raised, like how to stylize and texturize elements in the composition for example, which would in turn make the project look all the more profession and downright awesome. Fellows decided to make a follow-up tutorial that answers a few of those questions (some of which came right from NFS readers). Continue on to check out the video! More »

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FS700 & R5 Recorder SonyWhen Sony announced the FS700 camcorder a year and a half ago, there was a vague promise that the camera would be able to shoot 4K video with a firmware update sometime down the road. At the time, little did we know that the FS700, when paired with a 4K RAW recorder like Sony’s R5, would become a legitimate option in the ever-expanding field of 4K RAW acquisition and a direct competitor to some of the other major cameras in that category, including the RED SCARLET and Sony’s own F5. However, if you’re an FS700 owner, or if you’re renting one out for your next production, and you’re not quite sure how to set up the camera/recorder for 4K recording, then Magnanimous Media has the perfect tutorial for you, as well as some gorgeous new footage. More »

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Premiere TutorialSo, you’ve finished cutting together and coloring your most recent project, and you’re ready to export it for the web or whatever form of distribution that you’ve chosen. You go to the export settings in your NLE, then you nearly have a panic attack because of the sheer volume of options. There are codecs and bitrates and field options and key frames,  and equally as many audio options, and before you know it, you’re curled up in the fetal position next to your desk. Luckily, one of my fellow Denver filmmakers put together a tutorial that shows you everything that you need to know when it comes to exporting for the web and beyond. Check it out. More »

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3D renderIf you work a lot in visual effects you know that creating stunning 3D objects and environments in After Effects and similar VFX programs is no easy task. There are plenty of tutorials out there that break down processes step by step, but Charles Yeager of AE Tuts+ offers some tips on how to get the most out of your renders when using Video Copilot’s Element 3D After Effects plugin by simply changing a few render and output settings. Check out the tutorial after the jump. More »

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Lens DiffusionDiffusion is one of the most subtle, yet powerful tools that cinematographers have at their disposal. Certain types of diffusion allows you to accomplish multiple things. You can soften images to create an intimate and alluring aesthetic. You can cause your highlights to bloom which can make for a more glamorous or angelic look. And while there are multiple types of camera diffusion on the market, one of the most unique and effective solutions is actually the most inexpensive. Stockings, the kind that lady-folk wear, can be attached to the rear of any lens to create some extraordinary diffusion effects. Here’s the why and how of achieving this unique aesthetic. More »